Extreme water stress affects a quarter of the world’s population, say experts

17 countries including India, home to 1.3 billion people, are identified as having ‘extremely high’ water stress. Photograph: Pratik Chorge/Hindustan Times/Getty Images

A quarter of the world’s population across 17 countries are living in regions of extremely high water stress, a measure of the level of competition over water resources, a new report reveals.

Experts at the World Resources Institute (WRI) warned that increasing water stress could lead to more “day zeroes” – a term that gained popularity in 2018 as Cape Town in South Africa came dangerously close to running out of water.

Qatar, Israel and Lebanon were ranked as the most water stressed countries in the world, with Badghis in Afghanistan and Gaborone and Jwaneng in Botswana the world’s most water-stressed regions.

WRI said the data reveals a global water crisis that will require better information, planning and water management.

“Water matters,” said Betsy Otto, global director for water at WRI. “We’re currently facing a global water crisis. Our populations and economies are growing and demanding more water. But our supply is threatened by climate change, water waste and pollution.”

The global research organisation compared the water available to the amount withdrawn for homes, industries, irrigation and livestock.

In the 17 countries facing extremely high water stress, agriculture, industry, and municipalities were found to be using up to […]

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Extreme water stress affects a quarter of the world's population, say experts
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Extreme water stress affects a quarter of the world's population, say experts
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A quarter of the world’s population across 17 countries are living in regions of extremely high water stress, a measure of the level of competition over water resources, a new report reveals.
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The Guardian
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